Sjogren's Awareness Day

Today is Sjogren's Syndrome awareness day. Unlike other disease you will not see a lot of facebook profile pictures with a ribbon overlay or products in the grocery story with ribbons on their labels to announce a percentage of proceeds going to research. The majority of people diagnosed with the disease will probably stay silent. I however refuse to be one of them.

Sjogren's is one of the most common autoimmune disease, effecting an estimated 4 million Americans, yet most people have never heard of it and most of the people who have do not truly grasp the effects of the disease. I was one of these people until recently. All I knew was Sjogren's is an autoimmune disease that cause dry eyes and mouths and possible some minor joint pain. I did not know that is could cause enough joint damage to result in surgeries, I did not know if could cause autonomic neuropathy to the point of needing a feeding tube and central line.

When I was diagnosed with Sjogren's 6 weeks ago I was shocked because I did not know it could cause the type of destruction my body has been through. And that was just the problem, no one else seem to realize it either, especially at such a young age, after all Sjogren's is supposed to effect women in their 40s and beyond, my body missed the memo. Since its so rare no one ordered the one test that could tell us exactly what was wrong and why my body had been self destructing. 

Turns out dry eyes and dry mouth are not always the first symptoms of Sjogren's, sometimes they are proceeded by joint pain and/or neurological manifestations. Turns out Sjogren's can and does effect children. After I was diagnosed I discovered it turn's out Sjogren's can be a very serious disease.  

Maybe my story can help others, create awareness.

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